The Shine Journal

Exceptional Flash, Poetry, Art and Photography!

Two From Thomas Matthew Prater


The Woodwright Listens To Coltrane After A Day
Of Fishing On Big Tumbling Creek

The rod and reel,
the dappled world of rock &
rock bass,
the rhythm of a natural hymn:

So what if green in blue,
so what
if green in blue is not what
the sky can produce?

The child-painter knows,
the child-painter knows
that the world
is a communication from God,

and the painter's hand
the mirror
in the sacred fugue, in Heaven's hymn
of call and skyhewn response.

The poet
is an addiction to meaningful toys, &
the world
communicated manifest.

So like a fish in muddy water,
and like God the cubist fish-painter,
I'll hide my love for you
inside this tremolo of brass & watercolor

Tease me, catch me, splice me open
with this knife of light. Only brush the knife
gently across my rainbowed side,
and thank me, like a hunter, for my life.

I Wanted, Desperately, A New Mountain Song

In A New Low River Sound. But That Sound
Was The Mountain’s Itself. It Was The Other Sound
That Was New. When You Find This Out,
You Know That The Flesh And The Body Are Different.

The moon is king, not dark
the king, of night. And I,
with wildlight praise
for the blissful confusion
of a sensuous inclusion
in God's banquet
of unfleshly, yet solid, delights,
wanted to pass this rhythm on to you,
locked in a piece of fruit,
painted into flecks of language,
translated into chips of ink:

an orange, freshly cut,
beside the stinkbug that eats
at a piece of rotten fruit.


Motivation: The first poem came from a phrase on the back of Walcott's Omeros, about the poet's "sensuous inclusion" or a similar grouping of words, and I expanded thoughts from my unconscious about Asian & Language poetry, as well as Christian theology, onto that seed.

The second poem was a little more literal in inspiration, except that I was listening to both Coltrane and Davis, and I had fished not that day (tody) but the day before (yesterday). It continues my common theme of contact with the Kabir/Rumi tradition of art as form of communication or meditation towards God, as well as some other mystic and surrealist stuff I like!

Bio: I live in Saltville, Virginia, and I'm a student at Radford University in Radford, Virginia. I write lots of poetry, and my writing -- not just poetry -- has been published/scheduled to appear in Exit 109, Alkalines, and NANO Fiction Magazine. When I'm not writing, I fish and bike and train for competitive powerlifting.

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Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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